Tag Archives: Chopin

My Father’s House

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They say that home is where the heart is. I have no doubt that this is true. In which case my home was imprinted in my heart before I was even born. It is my father’s home, my grandmother’s home, my great grandfather’s home and for a short while, my grandfather’s. Despite efforts to deny it many times, this is also my home. Some things we decide in life. Other things are decided for us. This home belongs to the former category. My heart home never stops calling me to return home. It’s voice is relentless. Sometimes louder, sometimes a silent echo, but always there.

Physical places, you see, are not just physical places. They may appear derelict and abandoned to the human eye, but they are always inhabited. My home is a glorious ruin with a soul that cries out and a garden that needs tending. Soul tending sometimes feels like an overwhelming and fearsome responsibility. Until I close my eyes and listen to my beating heart. I imagine myself sitting in the grand salon at the piano with Frederic Chopin playing. Once again I am restored. I have returned home.

Teenage Idol – Love is all you need

 

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Any discussion on love and idolatry sets me in a spin.  The swings and roundabouts of romance and love.  The agony and the ecstasy.   Maybe it’s because as a teenager I thought love made the world go round.  Maybe it’s because now I’m no longer a teenager, I know love makes the world go round.    I’ve arrived at a place where naivete and innocence are reconciled.  And I’m enjoying the view.   The 360 degree perspective.  This is the joy of the journey of love.   It never changes, just goes round and round in circles.   A song without end.    Love…fun…fairgrounds…err…where am I going with this?

I can’t remember hero worshipping the usual popular suspects, but then again I was not quite old enough to be fully swinging in the swinging 60’s.  I do remember that Scott Walker’s beauty, the richness of his voice and his “Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”, got my heart fluttering far more than Lennon and McCartney’s “Yesterday” ever did.  Elvis the Pelvis never really quite did it for me, neither could I ever understand how Tom Jones acquired so many female knickers.   Stevie Winwood, Marvin Gaye, Cat Stevens…hmm now we’re talking.

The concept of ‘teenage idols’ or ‘crushes’ may need re-examining.  Perhaps the phrase is a bit too limited, too restrictive.   My teenage idols were not necessarily mainstream populist people.  I fell in love truly, madly, deeply (and always silently, more Bridget Jones style) with people who displayed passion through performance.  I particularly remember Frank Wibaut, a very talented pianist in a Chopin competition I took part in.  For years, he was my idol.

As we travel back in time, we realise we are forever teenagers in our hearts.    Maybe the real beauty is in that it’s less about the messenger and more about the message.   Maybe idols are simply people who stir our passion, awaken something in our souls, make us want to be more like them, less like us.    Maybe an idol magically brings home the message that love endures and transcends time and space.  That it never ever dies.  And the spirit of romance is always alive within us.  Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto, Frederic Chopin, the pulling of heart strings…these are my teenage and my forever idols.

Then again before I get too transcendental, purist or whiter than white,  appearance does play a big part in the passion test too.  Enrico Inglesias has always done it for me.   And in his case, it’s definitely as much about the messenger as the message.   He can be my hero anytime.  Yes, love and beauty never dies.  Long may we cherish our teenage sweethearts.